Stephanie Burgis
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Listening to stories (and flashbacks!)
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I'm continuing to get immense pleasure out of The Pinkwater Podcast and Audio Archive. Last week I finished listening to Lizard Music, which was a really fun, zany kids' fantasy novel. (Or maybe science fiction? Hmm....) This morning I felt too headachey to read or write, so I listened to a bunch of Daniel Pinkwater's short books for little kids. (Are they still picture books if they're only listened to without the illustrations? They still work beautifully, anyway!)

Wempires, I Was a 2nd-Grade Werewolf, and Ducks were all wonderfully silly and fun, but the real revelation came with Blue Moose. I thought I'd never read it before, and I listened with deep enjoyment through the first chapter and part of the second - and then it came to the climax of the second chapter, I laughed out loud (it is a WONDERFUL book, and Daniel Pinkwater is a wonderful reader) - and a moment later I was struck by a lightning-bolt of memory, sudden and powerful. I had never read the book to myself, but my mom had actually read it to me when I was a little kid, and that scene that had made me laugh just now was my favorite scene of the book when I was a kid, too - I'd loved it so much that even though the rest of the book had faded in my memory (in the 25+ years since hearing it), it brought back all the memories when I heard it again, especially because it was read out loud, the way I'd heard it the first time. Blue Moose was a wonderful re-discovery. You can listen to or download it (and all the others) here.

(I was also absolutely delighted to see that Daniel Pinkwater is starting to podcast The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, one of my favorite of his YA books. I love the snarkout boys!)

And continuing my day of listening to childhood favorites, I just listened (while making and eating lunch) to a really wonderful, hour-long radio interview with Lois Lowry. (Linked via Finding Wonderland.) I never read the books that made her most famous (the dark, dystopian ones), but when I was a kid, I adored her Anastasia Krupnik books, which were hilarious and truthful about family life. Now, after listening to the interview, I want to hunt down all of her Anastasia books again and re-read them for the first time in 18 years...

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